Some city police cars will soon be equipped with defibrillators that can be used by an officer to shock a heart attack victim into a normal heart rhythm, officials said yesterday.
The 50 defibrillators were purchased with about $75,000 raised from a "Run to Remember," a charity 5K race held last year, and a $10,000 donation from the American Heart Association.
Mayor Martin O'Malley and other city officials said the defibrillators will help save lives because officers often reach heart attack patients before paramedics and other health care workers.
"The more [of the devices] that are in police cars, the more shots we have," O'Malley said.
The mayor was joined at the news conference announcing the purchase of the devices by Police Commissioner Kevin P. Clark and Fire Chief William J. Goodwin Jr.
It will take about a day of training for an officer to learn to use the defibrillator, which is about the size of a shoebox.
Officers will attach electrodes, which are connected to the device, to a patient and turn on the machine, which then monitors the victim's heart rate. The defibrillator then tells the officer whether a shock is needed. The electric jolt restores the heart to its regular rhythm.
Officers will be trained on the devices during the first week of next month.
City officials also announced yesterday that the Fire Department has purchased six pumper trucks and four rescue squad vehicles.